Friday, 29 September 2017

ZORNHEYM - Interview with Nekronos Promotion Hell



Interview conducted by RüPä Gonçalves [2017.09.28]

Swedish symphonic extreme metal masters Zornheym debut album "Where Hatred Dwells and Darkness Reigns", that is in our opinion, one of the best pieces of the genre to be released to the date, has came out on the 15th of September 2017 via Non Serviam Records (Season of Mist) label(s)!
We used the opportunity to interview Zorn the mastermind behind Zornheym creations and founder of this impressive new band! It's an honour for us to conduct this interview to our long time friend which new work we have kept a close eye since it's embryo stage!


RüPä N.P.H.: Zornheym is the ultimate Swedish symphonic extreme metal experience; let us know more about it?

Zorn: I formed the band early in 2014. In the beginning, it was just me with this crazy vision of creating a band that would take the concept album thing to the next level. Later I also felt the urge to incorporate symphonic elements since it has been a long time dream but I have never had a band that really shared that vision with me. In the beginning, I arranged the symphonic parts with a library of samples. Then I approached Petter Möller about helping me out with getting real strings instead. He and his ensemble, Dies Iona Ensambly, offered to make this dream come true. Petter also guided me in the right direction with how to use the strings in composing music. The band also consists of our vocalist, Bendler; guitarist, backup vocalist, and arranger, Scucca; and drummer, Angst - a fine group of people and musicians!

RüPä N.P.H.: Why the name Zornheym? Any special meaning behind it?

Zorn: From the start it was the stage name that I used when I was playing bass in Dark Funeral. The name is German and means “home of anger”. When the general concept was taking form, it hit me that that name would make sense for the concept. So I decided to call the asylum where the story takes place “Zornheim”, the German way of spelling it; call the band Zornheym, and shorten my own name to Zorn.

RüPä N.P.H.: When did you started to forge the idea to raise this new symphonic extreme metal band Zornheym? What was going on your mind to create such colossal epic horror experience?

Zorn: The original idea started growing in my early mid 20’s when I had finished the first full length with Aktiv Dödshjälp “4:48”, which was a concept album about suicide. Actually, it is a part of a trilogy album about birth, life and death. The “4:48” booklet is designed after the whole concept and it was very interesting and artistically satisfying to do. There and then, I got an idea about making another album about an asylum where every song is about an inmate confined within the asylum’s walls.
When I started composing the three first songs “The Opposed”, "A Silent God” and “Trifecta of Horrors” I felt that I could finally use my old asylum idea and once that was decided, the songs started leading me into the concept. As things were taking shape, I really felt that we needed to do this the whole way. Right now, me and the guys have so many ideas on taking this concept to levels never ventured before by most bands.

RüPä N.P.H.: Zornheym is a great allegiance of veteran metal warriors, let us know more about Zornheym band members and their musical background.

I am extremely happy and proud with the band’s line up.
Angst was the first one to join. Back when I was living in Finspång, a common friend introduced us because I was looking for a drummer to do some shows with AKTIV DÖDSHJÄLP. I rehearsed with Angst and he nailed everything super tight but when nothing really happened with AKTIV DÖDSHJÄLP, I joined DEVIAN. I later heard that my friends in Stockholm based DIABOLICAL were looking for a drummer so I recommended Angst to them and he got the spot. Fast forward to while living in Stockholm and starting ZORNHEYM, it felt natural to ask him to drum. He was so excited, he agreed to play on the album before even hearing the songs!
Scucca was the third one to join in, if you count myself as the first one. Scucca comes from Ireland. Before he moved to Sweden, he played in several bands in the local scene there, worked as a guitar tech, and also studied music at university. We met through some common friends and at first he was just supposed to help me with getting my guitar and bass ready for the studio by installing my new lace pickups. I knew he was a guitarist and at that time worked as a music teacher. So it ended up with him joining, which has been a great addition to the band using his skills with arranging, writing notation, conducting, and recording the choir… And his guitar skills too of course!
Bendler used to play guitar in a band called Backwardness, together with Lars Palmqvist from Scar Symmetry and Mika Lagren in Grave, that made a name for itself in the underground scene in Sweden. He got offered by Lars to do some session vocal jobs for Scar Symmetry and shortly after that he joined Facebreaker on lead guitar. I always remembered him as a great performer on stage, spitting fire, juggling burning axes and stuff, but always as a guitar player. When I remembered the clip of him singing for Scar Symmetry, I contacted him right away since I knew that he would be the perfect frontman for Zornheym.

RüPä N.P.H.: We know that the debut album “Where Hatred Dwells and Darkness Reigns” will be a conceptual album, tell us more about it and its main lyrical inspiration?

Zorn: You can almost see this album as the pilot episode to a new series. You get introduced to a lot of characters and get to know their history. The story takes place at an asylum called “Zornheim”, also known as the place “Where Hatred Dwells and Darkness Reigns”. Each song tells the story of one of the inmates confined within the asylum's walls. If you buy the physical version of the album, the inmates’ medical journal is also included so you can get to know them even more. To make our concept really stand out and get it the next level feeling, we are also working with the extremely talented Finnish artist, Anu Bring ( ) that's painting the graphic novel version of the album. Each chapter in the graphic novel will go deeper into the story of the characters and tell their story in more depth. The music video to “The Opposed” is done as a short movie that serves as a great bridge between the lyrics and the graphic novel.

RüPä N.P.H.: Do you intend to continue developing the Zornheim asylum horror stories on upcoming albums or just for the debut release?

Zorn: Yes we do. The graphic novel actually ends with a hint of what the next album will be about. The ideas for the second album are already taking form, so nothing is going to stop this train!

RüPä N.P.H.: The whole horror story concept gains another magnitude with the inclusion of the comic book art done by Anu Bring, the cover art done by Pedro (Lordigan), The inmates' clinical files, Videoclip, etc. How you managed to fit all together on Zornheym’s first release?!

Zorn: When I parted ways with Dark Funeral I had been touring a lot across the globe and it had been a lot of fun. It had, however, left a great void inside me and I really missed and longed to be creative once again. So I kind of decided to go big or go home. I knew that since it was only me working on it I would not have a tight deadline and I could just prepare the concept the way I wanted to have it in peace. It was also very important for me to find a solid line-up that would share this passion and help me evolve it. The work everyone has put in is insane. Personally, I have done this during my son’s first years and working full time. It is like I have been working several full time jobs between being a father to my son, creating Zornheym, and my ordinary job. I guess becoming a parent really makes you organized and careful with your time!

RüPä N.P.H.: The debut album sound is quite demanding but yet amazing since all elements fit together perfectly, why have you decided to record the debut release on Wing Studios (Demonical, Diabolical, Centinex,etc.) with extreme metal guru Sverker Widgren?

Zorn: When Angst and I started rehearsing together, he suggested that we could use Sverker. He told me that Sverker is a great guy and that he can really make magic in the studio. Angst and Sverker play together in DIABOLICAL, and I really liked the sound that they had on “Neogenesis”. I was also in their studio when they recorded that album and contributed with some bass lines and I liked the atmosphere he had while working. Already when we were setting up the drums and went through my pre-productions of the songs I felt in my gut that I had made the right choice with Sverker. He really helped us with inventing the blueprint for the sound of ZORNHEYM.

RüPä N.P.H.: You have managed to include great guest appearances on this first album! How did you managed to get so many great musicians working with you on the debut Zornheym release? Want to name some of your guests in particular?

Zorn: I am a lucky person that has the honour to know a lot of talented people, and these people really believed in our vision and wanted to help us bring it to life. One of the most important names are Petter Möller, Konzertmeister of Dies Iona Ensambly, that helped me a great deal with the strings in the early stages. Him and his orchestra also did a great job on the actual album. I also think that Cain (the Amentha) did a great job on a silent god and Jonas (Facebreaker) vocals in Trifecta sounds awesome layered with Bendler’s voice. I also want to mention Jens Rydén for amazing photos and the absolutely smashing layout and design of the physical layout. We are also very thankful to every singer who helped us by joining our choir.

RüPä N.P.H.: I am sure you had loads of great experiences with people you worked with in your musical past, want to mention any special person(s) or experience(s) that helped you to become the musician you are this days?

Zorn: Erik Legion, who I played with in Devian, had a huge impact on me when it comes to stage appearance. He inspired me and taught me tons on our first tour. Emil Dragutinovic, also in Devian, taught me a lot of dedication and motivation. In general, every person that has encourage me to stay true to my vision and believe in myself. Masse Broberg has meant a lot to me lately as well and just having had the chance to play all of Europe's big festivals with him in 2013 is a memory for life.

RüPä N.P.H.: What are your own and Zornheym main musical influences?

Zorn: Dissection, Dimmu Borgir, Emperor, Hans Zimmer, Blind Guardian, Septicflesh and J.S Bach I would say.

RüPä N.P.H.:What are your own favorite horror tales / movies?

Zorn: Over the last couple of years I have devoured so many. Of newer movies I really liked the feeling of the first “Insidious” - even though I feel like they destroyed it by casting a “Darth Maul" clone as the villain! Also, "The Badadook” was great! “It Follows” was also a very interesting story I thought. Of the older ones, it's too hard to pick any favourites. The first "Evil Dead” movie holds a special place in my heart though.

RüPä N.P.H.: What will Zornheym bring as new and fresh to conquer metal adepts, critics and media? Are there any more surprises still to be revealed concerning the new album!

Zorn: We have a lot of ideas of how to evolve our concept and we will start working on some of them soon. Yesterday I got confirmation that our provider is shipping out a test print of our graphic novel. I believe we will offer something fresh and new for the whole concept band thing.

RüPä N.P.H.: Do you have any final words to all the people eager to know more about this Zornheym band?

Zorn: First, thanks for reading the whole interview! Check us out, we are offering something fresh under the sun! We are on all digital platforms, and if you enjoy our music get it in the physical version - it is a true piece of art in that form. This is just the beginning of Zornheym, the era of asylum and insanity is upon us! See you on the road!

"(...) This is the rebirth of Symphonic extreme metal... without a doubt, the best 2017 album of the genre!" on Nekronos Promotion Hell - Review of "Where hatred dwells and darkness reigns"

READ the full Nekronos Promotiom Hell : REVIEW ( Rate 10/10 ):


ZORNHEYM - “Where Hatred Dwells and Darkness Reigns”

1. The Opposed
2. Subjugation of the Cellist
3. A Silent God
4. Prologue to a Hypnosis
5. Trifecta of Horrors
6. ...and the Darkness Came Swiftly
7. Whom the Night Brings…
8. Decessit Vita Patris
9. Hestia

"The Opposed" : Official Videoclip :

"Whom The Night Brings..." : Audio Clip:

"A Silent God" : Audio Clip:


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